Dominic Thiem Brands Loss Of Big Three As Irrelevant After Sinking Auger-Aliassime At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem Brands Loss Of Big Three As Irrelevant After Sinking Auger-Aliassime At US Open

The world No.3 reacts to his latest win at the New York major and explains how he feels about becoming the highest ranked player left in the draw.

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Dominic Thiem has sent out a warning to the rest of the draw at the US Open after producing a comprehensive win over Next Gen star Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.

 

The second seed thwarted an early threat posed by the world No.21 as he eased to a 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-1, victory to reach his second New York quarter-final in three years. In what was a battle of fitness, the lesser experienced Auger-Aliassime struggled to conjure up a way to tame Thiem’s game as he produced a costly 51 unforced errors. Enabling the world No.3 to break six times overall.

“I was really nervous before the match. I know that I was going to be playing against an amazing opponent,” Thiem revealed following his latest win.
“I had a chance to serve for the first set and missed it pretty poorly. Then in the tiebreak I started to miss less and less. In set two and three were 100 per cent my best sets so far in this tournament.’
“I’m really happy with this one because I’ve just beaten an amazing opponent and upcoming superstar.”

With a place in the last eight and the added bonus of title favourite Novak Djokovic exiting the tournament on Sunday, the showdown was as much about nerves as it was about physical fitness. In what was their first ever encounter, three-time major finalist Thiem was pushed to his limits during the opener by the 20-year-old. Auger-Aliassime had only dropped serve once in his three previous matches, but came undone midway through the first set after a forehand error gifted Thiem the break as he nudged ahead 4-2. Then it was the Austrian’s turn to falter after producing a series of errors whilst serving with a 5-4 advantage. Despite the blip, Thiem regained control in the tiebreak with the help of a blistering backhand winner to seal a mini-break before making a successful challenge to one of his opponents shots to reward him the 7-6 lead.

After coming through a stern test, Thiem then dominated proceedings with a clinical performance against his rapidly tiring rival on the Arthur Ashe Arena. Overall he dropped just six points behind serve during the second set as he capitalised from Auger-Aliassime’s rapidly increasing error count.

Surging in confidence on court, 27-year-old Thiem encountered little trouble sealing his 288th win on the Tour as a professional player. He converted his first match point opportunity with the help of a breathtaking backhand winner down the line.

“I started to have a great feeling in sets two sand three. I started to find the mixture again which I last had in Australia (at the Australian Open). A perfect mixture from offence to defence and not missing a lot. Putting a lot of returns back into play and it was one of my best matches so far,” he commented on his performance.

The 27-year-old is the highest ranked player left in the draw following the disqualification of Djokovic. Meaning that there will be a first-time Grand Slam winner in New York with no members of the Big Three featuring in the semi-finals for the first time since 2004.

“I focus only on myself and try to look from match-to-match. In the end, for myself and for the other remaining players in the draw it doesn’t matter at all if the big three are still in or not,” Thiem stated.
“I think everybody just wants their hands on the trophy. It doesn’t matter who they have to beat.”

Thiem will play Australia’s Alex de Minaur for a place in the semi-finals at the New York major on Wednesday. De Minaur eased to a straight-sets win over Vasek Pospisil earlier in the day to reach the last eight of a major for the first time in his career.

“It’s just going to be a match where I’m just going to have to try to stand my ground again, do what I do best, stay solid, and look for any kind of opportunity I can to dictate,” De Minaur previewed.

In their head-to-head, Thiem leads De Minaur 2-0 but hasn’t played him since 2018.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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